The goal of our research is a deeper understanding of the properties and processing of polymeric materials from a fundamental knowledge of their chemistry and molecular level structure. Areas of research include the development of advanced molecular modeling technologies to provide insight into, and accurate estimation of, a wide spectrum of processing-structure-property relationships in polymers. Concurrent with model development, we pursue methods to process and characterize polymeric materials in the laboratory, in order to understand and take advantage of the connections between chemical structure, processing history and technologically important material properties. Some current research topics include:
- Development of molecular modeling algorithms for multiscale and inverse problems.
- Molecular modeling of crystallization kinetics.
- Molecular modeling of semicrystalline and other nanocomposite materials.
- Electrohydrodynamics and electrostatic fiber formation ("electrospinning").
- Emergent thermal, mechanical and electrical properties of nanofibers.
- Functional nanofiber materials, including wetting and repellency of liquids, fibrous membranes for reactive, catalytic and electrochemical applications, clean energy and clean water.